Chadwick Boseman’s premature death left the world mourning but his family, friends and co-stars as well. One of those co-stars who felt this was Avengers: Endgame’s Anthony Mackie. After all, the two actors knew each other before rising to film superstardom. But Mackie recently explained why he hasn’t seen Chadwick Boseman’s performance in the Netflix film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

During their time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Anthony Mackie and Chadwick Boseman worked with each other on several projects including Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. But their relationship went back to when they first met in their college days. So, for Mackie, Boseman’s death hit deeper than most to the point where he hasn’t watched Boseman’s final performance. He revealed to Extra the personal reason he hasn’t watched Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom yet.

I haven't seen it yet. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom holds a very special place. … With the relationship to that … and my relationship to Chad, I haven't been able to pull myself to the point, emotionally, to be able to sit and take that experience in, because I wouldn't be able to watch it for the performance and the art; it would just be too emotional of a process for me.

Given the two actors’ history before the fame, it was understandable why Anthony Mackie can’t bring himself to watch Chadwick Boseman’s final film performance. Even if Mackie hasn’t seen the film, the public and critics have as Boseman’s posthumous performance has been lauded with talks of a possible Oscar nomination. The actors share an even bigger connection to the Netflix film as Mackie played Ma’s nephew in a 2003 revival of the play the film is based on.

Both actors came into global prominence through their roles in the MCU. Anthony Mackie made his Marvel debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Sam Wilson/Falcon. Chadwick Boseman made his debut as T’Challa/Black Panther in the follow-up Captain America: Civil War, which Mackie also appeared in. The two went on to share the silver screen in the final two Avengers films. Mackie will continue his role in the MCU as he takes the Captain America mantle in Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is set to premiere in 2021. Boseman’s final performance as T’Challa will be in the animated Marvel anthology What If…? (also on Disney+).

Chadwick Boseman’s final performances are bittersweet after his unexpected death in 2020 after a four-year battle with stage four colon cancer. Along with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and What If…?, the late actor recently appeared in the Spike Lee film Da 5 Bloods. Despite the loss of Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Mackie’s career has continued to flourish. He can currently be seen in the Netflix action film Outside the Wire. He will appear next in the Netflix thriller The Woman in the Window with Amy Adams, Gary Oldman and Julianne Moore.

While the world mourned Chadwick Boseman’s passing, his friends and family like Anthony Mackie felt his absence on a deeper level. So, not watching Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is perfectly fine as he continues to grieve. You can check out Mackie in Outside the Wire on Netflix.

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